A libertarian returns to Scotland
"Freedom and Whisky gang thegither"
- Robert Burns
"Freedom and Whisky gang thegither"
Sunday, 30 June 2002
Happy Birthday to Thomas Sowell (30th June)
Saturday, 29 June 2002
A Scottish look at America
The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Statists
As Roland says:
Those who aspire to self-appointed greatness in the Church as well as the State will also feel the wrath of the Holy Blog.
It's the culture, stupid
As Tom Hunter says:
For the sake of clarity, the Schools Enterprise Programme, which gives two enterprise modules to every child in Scotland over their seven year primary education and is a 50/50 partnership between the private sector and the Scottish Executive - is not about creating entrepreneurs, it's about creating and supporting a culture of enterprise, something we fundamentally need if we are to succeed in this century
Thursday, 27 June 2002
Telling it like it is
Who did they think they were, Social Security Trust Fund administrators, where a $20 trillion unfunded liability is never put on the official accounting books, where the "trust fund" is filled with unmarketable government bonds, where a $100 billion annual increase in the liability (cash accounting, not accrual) to future retirees in what is called an off-budget government program is counted as income in the government's on-budget accounts, and is used to reduce the official debt in the Federal budget? The government must bring these miscreants to justice!
Adam Smith is turning in his grave
Wednesday, 26 June 2002
More on the pensions scandal
It would provide! These people are so funny sometimes.
Who are the "victims" here?
Who is the victim?
Tuesday, 25 June 2002
The truth is out there...
Monday, 24 June 2002
Freedom and Whisky's hometown
After the World Cup
Sunday, 23 June 2002
Final salary schemes represent an unquantifiable liability and hence cannot be offered honourably by any organisation, public or private.
He goes on to say:
The law should not allow such hollow promises to be made and certainly governments should never have engaged in so doing.
I fully understand why private companies are ending their final salary pension schemes and it would be ludicrous to force them to keep these schemes in force (other than for existing contractual arrangements) as some trade unions are suggesting. But of course governments can offer final salary pension schemes – not because they are cleverer at playing the stock market but because they can use the power of taxation and money printing to meet any pension shortfalls. This may well result in an inflationary spiral but governments can meet their pension liabilities in nominal terms. The real question is why are there so many government jobs in the first place. It is the size and cost of the state sector, together with ever-expanding red tape, which makes it so difficult for those in the productive sector to provide for an adequate retirement income.
My ISP has been on a "go-slow" since Saturday morning. This meant that I had to adopt the old-fashioned way of keeping in touch with the world by going to the pub and reading the Sunday papers. And good news there is. According to The Business:
Former British transport secretary Stephen Byers is to take an active role extolling the virtues of the single European currency.
Well, that's one problem solved.
Friday, 21 June 2002
The seen and the unseen
Murdo Fraser, the Conservative MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, has now called for the abolition of Scottish Enterprise, the government's business funding body. On their website, I read the following:
As a result of our activities during 1999-2000, we estimate we will help add approximately £900 million a year to the output of the Scottish economy over the next three years, creating or securing around 25,000 jobs.In the nineteenth century, Frederic Bastiat explained that we should always look at both what is seen and what is unseen when looking at economic matters. Or, as accountants would put it: look at the debits as well as the credits.
I therefore challenge Scottish Enterprise to answer the following: how many jobs would have been "created or secured" if the money spent by this quango had been left in taxpayers' pockets and freely invested in enterprises approved by the marketplace rather than by government bureaucrats?
Leviathan marches on
Thursday, 20 June 2002
Cheap flights to the Highlands?
Wednesday, 19 June 2002
The Scottish Numptie Party
Another Blair makes another gaffe
Tuesday, 18 June 2002
If you plan to visit Scotland this summer, look at the links to the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe. A week ago, I read somewhere that the Fringe was going to have 10,000 separate individual performances but their website now claims 20,342.
Beam them up, Scottie!
".... for a human to be teleported would mean pinpointing and analysing the trillions and trillions of atoms that make up the human body", says the report.
But, listen to this:
....it may not be long before solid matter is teleported from one place to another. "My prediction is.....it will probably be done by someone in the next three to five years, that is the teleportation of a single atom."
A single atom! We could thus zap politicians out of the solar system at the touch of a button. Isn't science wonderful?
Monday, 17 June 2002
Buy this book
I'll drink to this!
Crichton v Reid
Whenever a "crisis in capitalism" is claimed, it is always the result of government intervention and always an attempt to justify further interventionism.
Sunday, 16 June 2002
Chill the bubbly!
Just what we need - more bureaucrats!
Saturday, 15 June 2002
Beginning to see the light
Friday, 14 June 2002
There's no such thing as a free politician..........
Thursday, 13 June 2002
Road pricing again
Wednesday, 12 June 2002
Freedom and Whisky gang thegither!
World Cup 2002 Final - latest
Tuesday, 11 June 2002
Just what are they good for?
Monday, 10 June 2002
Even more victims
More on Adam Smith's birthday
Sunday, 9 June 2002
Are you listening Tony?
Saturday, 8 June 2002
Victims of socialism
Friday, 7 June 2002
Cowboy politicians: look out
At least they're talking
Trouble on the web
Thursday, 6 June 2002
Strength through joy?
Wednesday, 5 June 2002
Sorting out the sheep from the goats
"Some things can’t be taught. In fact, quite a lot of things can’t be taught, and how to make money is one of them. As has been pointed out, correctly, several times recently, there is no positive correlation between an increasing proportion of a nation’s population going through higher education and its economic performance."Just so. Mr Maxwell's meeting with three multi-millionaires parallels the von Mises quote that I posted on 31st May.
How can this be?
Happy birthday Adam Smith
Tuesday, 4 June 2002
On the occasion of the Queen’s Jubilee
”From the vantage point of elementary economic theory and in light of historical evidence, then, a revisionist view of modern history results. The Whig theory of history, according to which mankind marches continually forward toward ever higher levels of progress, is incorrect. From the viewpoint of those who prefer less exploitation over more and who value far-sightedness and individual responsibility above short-sightedness and irresponsibility, the historic transition from monarchy to democracy represents not progress but civilizational decline.”From Chapter 2 of Democracy – The God That Failed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.
Working for the taxman
Mugger should get a job
Monday, 3 June 2002
I would naturally be very pleased to see Ryanair open a base at Prestwick in the footsteps of Polar Air Cargo which has already opened a base there.
However, as the Sunday Times says, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary is a tough negotiator. His company has been reported as looking at some rather strange new destinations in Scotland. Some think this may a negotiating ploy aimed at getting reduced landing fees at more conventional airports. No doubt he is doing the same with his search for a new maintenance base. Let's hope it's Prestwick.
The market returns?
Nevertheless, it wasn't really necessary for Councillor Burns to say:
but I for one didn't stand for election to do as little as possibleIt would be truly extraordinary if any politician promised to do "as little as possible."
Threats from the air
Saturday, 1 June 2002
Is income tax legal?
One stipulation of the Act of Union of 1707 was that Parliament should meet, year about, in England and Scotland. But Parliament became entrenched in London.Effectively, the Treaty and the two Acts of Union are Britain's constitution. Surely this means that legislation passed on alternative years since 1707 is null and void. This raises fascinating questions. Which taxes are legal? Is the UK a member of the EU? Do women have the vote?
I think we should be told.